CIPES - Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies
Portuguese higher education is at a critical stage of its development. Over the last decades the system has undergone a major expansion that led the system from a small, elitist, low research-base, and peripheral to become a mass, research-intensive, and much more internationalized one. Thus, over the last two decades the system has participated much more actively in the wider global transformations of higher education. At the same time the expectations and pressures placed upon the system have risen significantly and this is nowadays regarded as a critical element in the socio-economic development of the country, notably in helping the latter to successfully accelerate its economic transformation and participation into an increasingly globalized world. This has led to several important policy initiatives aiming at strengthening the organizational basis of Portuguese HEIs and their capacity to respond adequately to multiple and complex societal and economic challenges. Hence, this research programme aims to understand how Portuguese HEIs are responding to the multiple challenges confronting higher education globally and how the policy initiatives of the last decade have shaped those institutional responses. The analysis will focus on four core areas, and their interplay, currently considered as key elements in that transformation:
o The changes in the external and internal governance of higher education and the way these relate to institutional quality and performance;
o The implementation of institutional policies aiming at improving the quality of the academic endeavour;
o The institutional development of systems of performance management;
o The analysis of changes in the balance of power and the concurrent re-definition of the role of academic and non-academic professionals.
Governance; Quality Assurance; Performance Assessment; Professionals; Reforms; Portugal